Latinos in the Southern Appalachians


There has been a marked growth of the Latino population in Appalachia over the last twenty years. The majority of the Latino immigrants are Mexican, but there are also notable numbers of Central and South Americans. Many of the Latinos are migrants who continue to be involved in agricultural migrant labor streams. However, many Latinos have settled, especially in North Carolina and Georgia. The resettled Latinos continue to be involved with agriculture, but many have also found jobs in construction and factory work. The majority of the published work regarding Latinos in Appalachia is related to health issues, education, housing, and settlement status. It should be noted that much of the published work has appeared over the last five years and there certainly will be more in the near future. There is a much broader body of published work related to Latinos in California, Texas, and Florida which could be used for purposes of comparison.

Introductory Text: 

Perhaps the best introduction, although it is certainly basic, is in John Alexander Williams’ Appalachia: A History. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 2002. pp. 392-394.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

  • Alien Labor Mexican Employment Southern States
  • Hispanic Americans Economic Aspects North Carolina
  • Hispanic Americans Education
  • Hispanic Americans Employment Southern States
  • Hispanic Americans Health and Hygiene North Carolina
  • Hispanic Americans Health And Hygiene North Carolina Statistics
  • Hispanic Americans Medical care North Carolina Directories
  • Hispanic Americans Mortality North Carolina
  • Hispanic Americans North Carolina Health And Hygiene Statistics
  • Hispanic Americans North Carolina Mortality Statistics
  • Hispanic Americans North Carolina social Conditions
  • Hispanic Americans North Carolina Social Life and Customs
  • Hispanic Americans North Carolina Statistics
  • Hispanic Americans Services for North Carolina
  • Migrant Agricultural Laborers North Carolina
  • Migrant Agricultural Laborers North Carolina Social Life and Customs
  • Migrant Labor Appalachian Region
  • Migrant Labor North Carolina

Also Relevant:

  • Agricultural Laborers Foreign United States Bibliography
  • Agricultural Laborers Foreign United States Handbooks Manuals Etc.
  • Alien Labor Latin American United States
  • Alien Labor Mexican
  • Alien Labor Mexican United States
  • Alien Labor Mexican United States History
  • Migrant Labor
  • Migrant Labor Education North Carolina Forms
  • Migrant Labor Housing Law and Legislation North Carolina
  • Migrant Labor Housing North Carolina
  • Migrant Labor Housing North Carolina Periodicals
  • Migrant Labor Housing Standards North Carolina
  • Southern State Emigration and Immigration

More General:

  • Agricultural Laborers, Foreign
  • Alien Labor United States
  • Children of Migrant Laborers
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Hispanic Americans Census 1990
  • Hispanic Americans Census 2000
  • Immigrants-United States
  • Immigrants United States Statistics
  • Migrant Labor Certification United States
  • Migrant Labor United States Directories
  • Mexican Americans Agricultural Laborers
  • Mexican Americans Cultural Assimilation
  • Mexican Americans Migrant Agricultural Laborers
  • Mexican American Population
Clipping Files Subject Headings – W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Agriculture: Christmas Trees
  • Migrant Labor
  • Migrants
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • E184.M5
  • E184.S75
  • HD 5855-HD 5856
  • HD 6095
  • HD 6300

Murphy, Arthur D., Colleen Blanchard, and Jennifer A. Hill. Latino Workers in the Contemporary South. Athens: The University of Georgia Press. 2001. ASU GN2.S9243 no. 34

Wortham, Stanton, Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., and Edmund T. Hamann, eds. Education in the New Latino Diaspora: Policy and the Politics of Identity. Westport, Connecticut: Ablex Publishing. 2002. ASU Main Stacks: LC 2669. E39 2002

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

North Carolina Minority Health Facts: Hispanics/Latinos. Raleigh, NC: Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, State Center for Health and Environmental Studies. 1993. ASU Microform NC C96.72:M66h

North Carolina Minority Health Facts: Hispanics/Latinos. Raleigh, NC: Office of Minority Health and State Center for Health Statistics. 2006. UNCA NC DOC, CALL#:J3 402:M66h 2006, WCU.

Oboler, Suzanne, ed. The Oxford Encylopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. ASU Reference E184.S75 O97 2005


These three bibliographies are a bit dated and contain few citations of materials related to Latinos in Appalachia. However, they should be helpful for comparative purposes.

Emerson, Richard D. U.S. Agriculture and Foreign Workers: An Annotated Bibliography. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. 1988. ASU Govt US A 1.60/3:73.

Woods, Richard D. Reference Materials on Mexican Americans: An Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, New Jersey, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 1976. ASU 184.M5W66

Cordasco, Francesco. The New American Immigration: Evolving Patterns of Legal and Illegal Emigration, a Bibliography of Selected References. New York: Garland Publishing. 1987 ASU Z7164.I3C58 1987

Abstracts and Indices: 

Anthropological Literature

Dissertation Abstracts

Lexis Nexis

NC Periodicals Index

Sociological Abstracts


Rural Migration News. Davis, California: University of California, Davis. Volumes 1-8, 1995-present are available online at:

Mother Jones. San Francisco, California: Foundation for National Progress. vols. 1-27 bound, 1976-2002. Vols. 17-27 on microfiche. ASU periodicals. Online archive at

Human Organization. Washington, DC: The Society for Applied Anthropology. ASU periodicals: vols. 8-61, 1949-present. Table of contents and abstracts available online at (Note: Recently this journal has included a few articles on Latinos in Appalachia. However, previously there were no articles published on this topic.)

Websites: Raleigh-based statewide advocacy and policy organization dedicated to strengthening the Latino community. Partnership of NC Governor’s office for Latino/Hispanic Affairs, NC Cooperative Extension Service and El Pueblo, Inc. Easy-to-use tool for investigating US demographic trends. Maintained by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) at the University of Michigan. Resource for North Carolina’s Hispanic business community.

Audio and Video Sources: 

Nuestra Comunidad: Latinos in North Carolina. Produced and directed by Joanne Hershfield and Penny Simpson. North Carolina: New South Productions. 2001. ASU Video 11625.

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Randal Pfleger, 10 December 2002

Updated by: 

Updated: Randall C. Fish